Correction: An earlier version of this story misattributed Sophia Marjanovic’s quote to the Rev. Janelle Bruce.
Three activists crashed a public meeting in Maryland on Wednesday in the latest coordinated effort to pressure Gov. Larry Hogan (R) into opposing actions by the Trump administration that they say will harm health care, immigrants, refugees and women.
Talbot County resident Samantha Easton, 40, interrupted the Board of Public Works meeting to say Hogan should oppose efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She said her daughter, who has epilepsy and a heart condition, could be denied health coverage if Congress and President Trump roll back the law.
Hogan, who heads the three-member board, countered that he has provided “tremendous leadership on this issue,” noting that he met with Maryland’s congressional delegation last month and identified health care as a top concern for the state.
Security personnel removed Easton from the meeting room, located in the State House in Annapolis. But another protester arose minutes later, voicing concerns about reports that Trump’s first budget proposal would reduce federal grants for programs designed to prevent domestic violence.
“I am concerned that under the Trump administration, women are going to be treated badly in this country, and you’re not going to stand up for us,” Sophia Marjanovic, 42, of Rockville. “We need you to stand up strong to the Trump administration . . . women are in danger in this country.”
Hogan, who has bristled at demands that he criticize the new president, said he has stood up for constituents’ interests “every single day” as governor.
“I think the people elected me to do a job here in Maryland, which we’re focused on,” he said. “I didn’t run for president, and they didn’t hire me to protest every day against everything that happens in Washington.”
A third activist, Glenn Dale resident Susan Ungar, 75, came forward later in the hearing, urging Hogan to publicly denounce recent immigration-enforcement actions and Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees from around the world and travelers who are citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
She also delivered a letter with 1,000 signatures calling on the governor to state his positions on issues involving Trump and hold town hall meetings to discuss the topics.
“Thank you very much for your views,” Hogan said. “We’ll take a look at your letter.”
The disruptions were coordinated in part by the advocacy groups Progressive Maryland and Indivisible. The activists did not address the other two board members, Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D).
Franchot used his opening remarks at the meeting to criticize “hyperpartisans on the Republican side and Democratic side.”
Most members of the public, he said, don’t want “their message of constant conflict, tearing people down, yelling at the other side.”